Through instruction from our speech and language pathologist, students will learn to appropriately interpret nonverbal language such as facial expressions, gestures and proxemics in a variety of contexts and settings. This part of the curriculum will also encourage the student to demonstrate increased expressive language skills in a variety of contexts as well as teach the student to engage in conversational interactions across a variety of settings. Students will also be provided with the opportunity to improve their ability to respond to information presented in a multi modal format, as well as increase their participation in social interactions. This social communication component is blended into all aspects of the student's life, ensuring a successful transition to independent living at the conclusion of the two-year program.
Self-determination, an individual's awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses, the ability to set goals and make choices, to be assertive at appropriate times and to interact with others in a socially competent manner, is another component that is blended into all programs. These skills are taught by aiding the individual to identify his/her own emotions, needs, interests, and values as well as to develop an understanding of his/her strengths and limitations. This area of the curriculum also teaches the participant to expect to achieve personal goals, to have a feeling of self-respect and confidence and a belief in his/her ability to be successful. In addition, time is spent on developing the student's ability to assertively state his/her own wants, needs, and rights as well as determining, pursuing, obtaining and evaluating needed supports.
Chapel Haven West students participate in a one-credit Social Communicative Competency course at the University of Arizona which is overseen by a certified speech and language pathologist and taught by graduate speech and language pathologist clinicians. Students learn the principles of "social thinking" (as developed by Michelle Garcia Winner). The class gives students University of Arizona privileges such as CAT cards, access to recreation activities and fitness center, campus clubs and sporting events.